How to Rent a Violin
For many beginning students, renting a violin is a great option. Renting allows students to discover whether or not they take to the violin without requiring their parents to make a large financial commitment up front. Once you’ve decided to rent, there is a checklist of important factors to consider, including:
- Instrument quality
- Professional setup and accessories
- Customer service and responsiveness
- Exchange or Cancellation policy
- Rental credits
- Sizing expertise
- Read on to learn more about each consideration.
Quality of the Instrument Provided
The quality of rental instruments varies wildly, so it’s important to go with a trusted provider. Choosing a vendor recommended by your child’s school or music program will ensure that neither you, your child, or your child’s teacher will be disappointed.
At The Instrument Place, quality and consistency is our mantra. All of our rental violins are professionally set up and maintained, with integrated tailpieces to reduce buzzing and aid in tuning. We offer high quality rental instruments at some of the lowest prices in the industry, and are proud of our proven track record of repeat customers and referrals.
Professional Setup and Accessories
When comparing retailers, you’re sure to discover a large amount of variation in the set-up, maintenance, and equipment included in your rental agreement. We recommend checking for the following minimum requirements:
- Violins and bows should be professionally set up and maintained. A violin that is not set up properly will often have strings that are too high above the fingerboard, making it hard for a child to press down.
- Tailpieces should be installed properly so they don’t create a buzzing sound when the violin is played.
- Bows should have real horsehair and be easy to tighten and loosen.
- Protective cases are extremely important to the health of your child’s violin as well; when examining a case, make sure that all zippers and latches fasten securely.
The Instrument Place rentals follow the standards listed above, coming equipped with everything needed to get started in class--a professionally set-up violin, a case, a bow, rosin, a shoulder pad and a name tag.
When selecting a violin for your child, size is extremely important. The instrument needs to feel comfortable and should not cause strain in the arm or neck. If your child feels at ease with his instrument, he will be much more likely to enjoy playing and want to stick with it. Parents often make the mistake of assuming that size corresponds to skill level, a dangerous misconception. Bringing home a full-size violin before a child is ready for it can result in injuries including muscle strain and tendonitis. Resist the urge to move your child to a larger instrument until your teacher says he is ready. Make sure that the retailer you choose has a comprehensive sizing chart that takes into account age, grade level, arm length, and any other significant factors.
Customer Service and Responsiveness
If you’re renting an instrument, your relationship with your retailer may last months or even years. You want to make sure you’ll be able to get the help you need, when you need it. Some important questions to consider include:
- How easy is it to get a hold of customer service, and if you leave a message or an e-mail query, how quickly does someone respond?
- If you’re working with an online retailer, do they have a physical location where you can get quick support?
- If you need to exchange an instrument, how long is the turnaround time?
Exchange or Cancellation Policy
If your child needs a violin that’s smaller than full size, consider choosing a vendor that will make it easy for you to swap out your rental for the next size at no extra charge. Your provider should support the growth and journey your child is making in music, and providing hassle-free exchanges is an important step. You should always consult with your child’s teacher about whether the child is ready for the next size before making the transition.
Sometimes a rental simply doesn’t work out. Your child may decide that playing music no longer interests her, or may wish to try a completely different instrument. For this reason, you’ll want to work with a retailer who has a flexible cancellation policy, and perhaps one that allows students to switch a violin for another instrument altogether.
If you are truly torn over whether to rent or buy, you may want to choose a vendor who offers rental credits toward an eventual purchase. Such a plan offers the best of both worlds, as you’re not obligated to buy, but earn credit towards buying if your child decides she is serious about committing to the violin.
At The Instrument Place, our goal is to get an instrument in the hands of every person who wishes to play, without it being a financial burden. We believe you should never have to feel trapped making payments or that you are wasting money on an instrument you no longer wish to rent or purchase for your child. If you are still not sure whether or not you should buy or rent a violin, or you still have questions, feel free to give us a call at (800) 789-2707. Our friendly team of professionals are here to answer your questions and help you find the best violin for your child’s needs and your budget.
Looking to buy or rent a different instrument? Get valuable advice before deciding to rent or buy.